This may very well be the beginning of the end for all fashion models made of human flesh. Flower Robotics, a Tokyo-based robot development company, has started renting out robotic mannequins that are supposed to replace real models in fashion shows and other events.
The company offers two different robots, both of which you can also buy if you have the money. Flower robotics androids already made appearances in exhibitions and some high-scale department stores in Japan, but this is the first time everyone can (theoretically) lay their hands on them.
The first robot, named Palette (pictured above), is a full-torso model, has 16 moving parts and stands 185cm tall (weight: 41kg). It’s equipped with sensors and simple AI that make it strike various pre-programmed poses depending on the number and location of people looking at it.
Renting it within Tokyo costs $3,000 and more, depending on how long you want to use it. You can also purchase the robot for around $50,000.
The other robot is called UT Palette (pictured below), with UT standing for upper torso. It’s not as spectacular as the Palette, but it’s cheaper to rent ($1,400 and up) and buy (around $7,000). The UT model is 41cm tall.
Flower Robotics can change the color of the mannequin robots upon request, but all services are unfortunately available only for customers based in Japan.